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May 27, 2005, Issue No. 169

AHRQ News and Numbers

Nearly 31,000 motorcycle riders and passengers were injured severely enough in 2001 to require hospitalization. The average hospital charge for motorcycle-related accidents was $28,151, which calculated nationally, resulted in $841 million in hospital charges. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Motorcycle-Related Hospitalizations in the United States, 2001, abstract in PubMed®.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. New Web-based tool helps planners inventory resources for public health emergencies
  2. AHRQ joins other groups in issuing advisory on COMMIT/CCS-2 trial results
  3. Video of 5 Steps to Safer Health Care PSA now available
  4. AHRQ releases new CERTs program brief on Medicare
  5. World No Tobacco Day recognizes critical role of health care professionals
  6. 2005 PBRN Annual Research meeting set for July 21-22
  7. Do you know how AHRQ's research is being used?
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  New Web-based Tool Helps Planners Inventory Resources for Public Health Emergencies

AHRQ has released the Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory, a new Web-based tool to help local, regional, and state planners compile customized inventories of health care and emergency resources. The tool allows communities to assess their regional supply of critical resources, prepare for incident response, estimate gaps, and support future resource investment decisions. The new resource inventory helps first responders figure out where emergency equipment and medicines are located, how much is available and whom to contact to obtain those resources. Developed by Abt Associates and Geisinger Health System for AHRQ's Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Program, the Web-based tool has been pilot tested in an eight-county region of rural Pennsylvania with the support of county commissioners and emergency management coordinators. Planners in other areas may download the free software tool from AHRQ's Web site and customize the inventory structure to meet their needs. Select to read our press release and the Emergency Preparedness Resource Inventory software tool and supporting documents.

2.  AHRQ Joins Other Groups in Issuing Advisory on COMMIT/CCS-2 Trial Results

AHRQ has joined several other organizations in issuing a practice advisory and fact sheet in response to early results from the COMMIT/CCS-2 trial on the use of beta blockers within 24 hours of when patients arrive at the hospital with a heart attack. The advisory and fact sheet caution that since all of the details on the methodology and results of the trial are not yet available, it is too soon to determine whether changes are called for in the current measures and guidelines for those patients. Select to access the advisory and fact sheet, including Qs and As on how heart failure patients with heart attacks are handled in the current CMS/JCAHO beta blocker measures. AHRQ and its partner organizations—the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, CMS, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations—are part of a larger group known as the Quality Improvement Support Collaborative. The collaborative's goal is to improve 30-day outpatient mortality for heart attack patients.

3.  Video of 5 Steps to Safer Health Care PSA Now Available

AHRQ, the American Medical Association, and the American Hospital Association have been working to distribute valuable information about improving patient safety to health care providers and patients across the country. The campaign, called 5 Steps to Safer Health Care, includes posters and fact sheets that offer evidence-based, practical tips on the role patients can play to help avoid errors related to prescription medicines, laboratory tests, procedures, and surgery. In addition, the groups recently worked with actress Laura Innes, who plays Dr. Kerry Weaver on the hit NBC show ER, to further promote the 5 Steps messages by recording a 30-second public service announcement that is airing on TV stations nationwide. Copies of 5 Steps to Safer Health Care are available on the AHRQ's Web site in English and in Spanish. Print copies of the fact sheet also are available by calling AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

4.  AHRQ Releases New CERTs Program Brief on Medicare

AHRQ released a new program brief on Medicare uses of research from its Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics program. The program brief also includes studies of quality improvement, prescription drugs, medical devices, long-term care, home health, and mental health. Select to read the program brief. A print copy is available by calling AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

5.  World No Tobacco Day Recognizes Critical Role of Health Care Professionals

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, an annual global event to call attention to the impact of tobacco use on public health and reduce individual tobacco dependence. This year's campaign focuses on the critical role of clinicians in helping tobacco users quit. All health care providers, especially those with direct patient contact, have a unique opportunity to help tobacco users quit. Smokers cite a health care provider's advice to quit as an important motivator for attempting to stop smoking. HHS recently released a new tool that gives nurses evidence-based information that they can use to help their patients quit smoking. The free pocket guide, Helping Smokers Quit: A Guide for Nurses, gives nurses easy access to cessation intervention, a current listing of smoking cessation medications approved by FDA, and a referral to HHS' National Quitline, 1-800-QUIT NOW. Select to read the guide. A print copy of the guide is available by sending an E-mail to Visit the AHRQ Tobacco Pathfinder for additional information.

6.  2005 PBRN Annual Research Meeting Set for July 21-22

AHRQ is sponsoring its 2005 Annual Research Meeting: Putting Practice into Research and Research into Practice on July 21-22 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. The purpose of the conference is to support the growth and development of AHRQ's Primary Care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs). Beginning this year, the conference will be opened up to representatives of new and established primary care networks (whether or not funded by AHRQ), as well as anyone interested in and committed to PBRN efforts. Select to access the Web site for the agenda and more information.

7.  Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed people's lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. These impact case studies describe AHRQ research findings in action. These case studies are used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. We would like to know if you are aware of any impact your AHRQ-funded research has had on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

8.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Carroll AE, Zimmerman FJ, Rivar FP, et al. Perceptions about computers and the Internet in a pediatric clinic population. Ambul Pediatr 2005 Mar-Apr;5(2):122-6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hsu J, Huang J, Kinsman J, et al. Use of e-health services between 1999 and 2002: a growing digital divide. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2005 Mar-Apr;12(2):164-71. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kirby JB, Kaneda T. Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and access to heath care. J Health Soc Behav 2005 Mar;46(1):15-31. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Groneneveld PW, Laufer SB, Garber Am. Technology diffusion, hospital variation, and racial disparities among elderly Medicare beneficiaries 1989-2000. Med Care 2005 Apr;43(4);320-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Leeper NJ, Wener LS, Dhaliwal G, et al. Clinical problem-solving. One surprise after another. N Engl J Med 2005 Apr 7;352(14):1474-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

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Current as of May 2005


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